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Kansas City Missouri

The city is well known for its contributions to the musical styles of jazz and blues as well as to cuisine.The Kansas City Barbecue Society reports that KC has more barbecue restaurants per capita than any other city in the nation. Jazz has been a staple of the KC music scene since the 1920s with artists like Count Basie, Bennie Moton and Jay McShann. Charlie “Bird” Parker, who was born in Kansas City, Kan., grew up during this era.

Housing
In 2010, Money Magazine ranked 3 of the metro area’s cities in the top 30 places to live.

The average price per square foot for Kansas City, MO was $68, an increase of 17.2% compared to the same period last year. The average listing price for homes for sale was $201,180 for the week ending May 23.  Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price increased 2.6%, or $2,015, and the number of home sales decreased 46.4%.

Historical Home Price Appreciation
Last Quarter                 -0.78%
Last Year                     -0.7%
Last 5 Years                 -3%
Last 10 Years               23%
Last 20 Years               92%
Last 30 Years    132%
Decline From All Time High   5.65%

Business
Walt Disney opened his first animation studio in Kansas City, Laugh-O-Gram Studios. He fed a small mouse in the building, which he later said was his inspiration for Mickey Mouse.

The Country Club Plaza opened in 1922 as the nation’s first shopping district designed for the automobile.

Local advertising agency Bernstein-Rein invented the Happy Meal for McDonald’s after the owner noticed his son staring at the cereal box during breakfast.

By 1949, 86 factories were manufacturing garments in KC. It was said that one in seven American women wore clothing made here.

KC is home to companies such as:

Financial, Banking, & Insurance :
*  American Century Investments
*  BATS Exchange, Inc. – 3rd largest securities exchange in the US behind NYSE and NASDAQ, headquarters in Lenexa, KS.
*  Commerce Bancshares
*  UMB Financial Corporation – formerly United Missouri Bank
*  Kansas City Board of Trade – commodities futures and options exchange, specializes in hard red winter wheat
*  H&R Block – tax preparation, Fortune 500 company
*  Kansas City Life Insurance
*  Lockton – largest privately held insurance company

Energy & Natural Resources
*  Great Plains Energy – Fortune 1000 company
*  Ferrel Gas – largest propane distributer
*  Compass Minerals – Nation’s second largest producer of salt

Food and Agriculture:
*  Russell Stover Candies – The largest maker of boxed chocolates in the world has been based here since 1932. Russell Stover Candies still hand dips more than 25 million pieces of chocolate each year.
*  Applebees
*  Wishbone Dressing
*  Dairy Farmers of America – Largest dairy co-op in the US
*  Interstate Bakeries, which makes Twinkies and Wonder Bread

Science & Healthcare
*  Cerner Corporation – Healthcare information technology, Fortune 1000 company
*  Stowers Institute for Medical Research – established by a donation from founders of American Century

Investments
*  Midwest Research Institute
*  Kansas Life Sciences Innovation Center (Robert E. Hemenway Life Sciences Innovation Center) – located at KU Medical Center
*  The Biotechnology Development Center
*  Xenotech
*  Proteon Therapeutics

Technology & Telecommunications
*  Garmin International – Fortune 500 company
*  DST – Information processing and management software development firm, Fortune 1000 company
*  Sprint Nextel – One of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, Fortune 500 company

Manufacturing
*  Ford – Claycomo plant manufactures the popular F-150.  Ford recently announces a $400 million investment to the plant, and will add an additional assembly line.
*  GM – Fairfax plant in Kansas City, KS is ranked as the most productive auto assembly plant in North America
*  Harley Davidson
*  Smith Electric Vehicles
*  Building, Construction, Architecture & Engineering
*  Black and Veatch
*  Burns and McDonnell
*  JE Dunn
*  Walton Construction

Transportation & Logistics
*  YRC international – Holding company for Yellow freight, Fortune 500 company
*  Kansas City Southern Industries – Rail company

Misc
*  Hallmark Cards – in 1910, Joyce Hall began selling postcards out of a shoebox in KC. Today, his company has grown to the world’s largest greeting-cards maker.
*  Crayola
*  AMC – movie theater company, Fortune 1000 company

Sources:  Trulia, Wikipedia, city-data.com, Money Magazine

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